When Kerin John launched the Black-owned Toronto Instagram page in 2020, her goal was to provide a one-stop shop for people to support Black-owned businesses. The Instagram page has now turned into a brick-and-mortar that John says is the first of its kind in Toronto.

“When 2020 started, one of my biggest goals was to support more Black-owned businesses. But it was surprisingly difficult to find and tell what businesses in the city are truly Black-owned,” said John. “I created Black-owned Toronto, in hopes of discovering more Black-owned businesses.”

But what John didn’t know was that her Instagram would become so popular in less than a year.

Black-owned Toronto opened on July 10 and is located in Toronto’s Scarborough Town Centre. The store features products created by Black business owners across Canada.


John also says the space serves as a hub for local creatives and business owners to flourish.

“I wanted a safe space for Black people to showcase and share their work. I created a one-stop-shop for all shopping and service needs. I was amazed by how quickly the platform grew, and how much support every business I posted received. I will continue my work as a Black business activist and continue working to see Black businesses flourish.”


She also launched Black-owned Canada, a national online directory for those who can’t make it into the physical resource space. John told CTV News that it costs $50 for businesses to join and the money goes towards keeping the site up, packaging, and for in-person events.

There are more than 100 vendors online, and more than 500 products from the website can be found inside of Black-owned Toronto, according to John.